April 9, 2015 - Halifax, NS - The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs and NSP Maritime Link Inc. (NSPML), a subsidiary of Emera (TSE: EMA), formally signed a Socio-Economic Agreement for the Maritime Link Project.
This agreement builds on a positive relationship that has developed between Emera and Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq over the years, as well as commitments made during the Mi’kmaq Consultation process conducted as part of the Project’s Environmental Assessment (EA).
Under the Socio-Economic Agreement, NSPML will support the Assembly’s participation in environmental monitoring programs in Cape Breton during the construction phase; help build workforce capacity within Mi'kmaq communities so they can benefit from the Maritime Link and future projects and provide access for qualified workers by working with contractors to ensure that Mi'kmaq and other designated groups have equal opportunity for employment on the Maritime Link Project.
“Through this socio-economic agreement we are demonstrating the power of partnerships and collaboration for the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia,” said Chief Terrance Paul, Co-Chair of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs. “Agreements, such as this will help us to achieve meaningful participation in projects happening on our lands, and support efforts to strengthen our Mi’kmaq communities.”
As part of this agreement, MEMSKI Projects Inc., a partnership between the Membertou and Eskasoni Mi’kmaq communities, and the Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources (UINR), a Mi’kmaq organization focused on a sustainable and traditional approach to natural resources, will both have significant roles. Through this agreement, MEMSKI will be responsible for ongoing engagement and training and UINR will be responsible for environmental monitoring. All components of this agreement will be over seen by Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office (KMKNO).
“This agreement is built on the ongoing commitment our company has made to partner with Aboriginal communities,” said Chris Huskilson, President and CEO, Emera. “By working together and building on our mutual strengths, this Project provides significant economic and environmental benefits for the Mi’kmaq and to Nova Scotia. Through increased access to local resource capacity, it will also help support our goal of remaining on time and on budget.”
As part of the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Maritime Link, the Federal Government and the Government of Nova Scotia have been very supportive of Emera’s efforts to engage Aboriginal communities adjacent to the project.
“The Government of Canada congratulates NSP Maritime Link Inc. and the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia on the signing of their Socio-Economic Agreement. The Lower Churchill Projects, benefiting from the federal loan guarantee, will not only create jobs and economic growth for people in Atlantic Canada, including First Nations, but will also provide a stable and sustainable source of energy for the region,” said Scott Armstrong, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister of Labour.
“Our government actively engages with the Mi’kmaq community on energy projects and strongly supports agreements such as the one signed today,” said Michel Samson, Energy Minister, Nova Scotia. “We’re pleased to see the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia having access to new business opportunities and training and it’s the type of agreement we strongly encourage in our province.”
About The Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative
The Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative is the group that represents the negotiations on behalf of the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia, with the Province of Nova Scotia and the Government of Canada. The Initiative was developed by the Mi’kmaq, for the Mi’kmaq. Through these negotiations, we hope to finally implement our Rights from the Treaties signed by our ancestors in the 1700′s.
Emera Inc. is a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia with $9.84 billion in assets and 2014 revenues of $2.97 billion. The company invests in electricity generation, transmission and distribution, as well as gas transmission and utility energy services. Emera's strategy is focused on the transformation of the electricity industry to cleaner generation and the delivery of that clean energy to market. Emera has investments throughout northeastern North America, and in four Caribbean countries. Emera continues to target having 75-85% of its adjusted earnings come from rate-regulated businesses. Emera common and preferred shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbols EMA, EMA.PR.A, EMA.PR.C, EMA.PR.E, and EMA.PR.F. Additional Information can be accessed at www.emera.com or at www.sedar.com.
About The Maritime Link Project
The Maritime Link is a 500 MW high voltage direct current (HVdc) transmission project bringing energy from the Lower Churchill project at Muskrat Falls to Nova Scotia. The Project will include two 170 km subsea cables across the Cabot Strait, with almost 50 km of overland transmission in Nova Scotia and close to another 300 km of overland transmission on the island of Newfoundland. To learn more visit www.EmeraNL.com.
Senior Manager, Communications and Public Affairs
Emera Newfoundland & Labrador